Coventry Chairmaker Sitting Pretty After Support

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A leading business organisation in Coventry and Warwickshire has provided strategic support to a high-quality chairmakers business, whose customers include the Queen and high-street retail giants.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub (CWLEP Growth Hub) has opened new doors for Sitting Firm Chairmakers at The Old Saw Mill in Harvest Hill Lane, Coventry.

Jaymie Thakordas, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub which acts as a free, single point of contact for information, advice and support for growing businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire, said the decision by Dave Green, master-craftsman and managing director at Sitting Firm Chairmakers, has led to a new client base.

She said: “We looked at the root issues of the business and dissected it piece by piece to give strategic support.

“Dave was open to change and he now feels more confident in front of clients. I went with him on various client visits and helped him to sell himself and the business and that has led to £250,000 being added to their bottom line.

“We brought in a lean expert from the Manufacturing Growth Programme to assess the production processes and changes have made been made to fulfil their orders in a more productive way.

“We also helped Dave to apply for a grant for software for a new CNC six-axis machine to utilise different programmes to create new products which has led to new customers.

“By providing mentoring to Dave, we have helped him to achieve the growth they were seeking by taking a different approach to attract a more profitable client base.”

Dave said the business, which employs 20 people, was the largest chairmakers in the UK and its clients included Her Majesty the Queen, John Lewis, Heal’s, The Conran Shop, French restaurant Brasserie Blanc, 10 Downing Street as well as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

He said: “We have gained an enviable reputation for producing fine quality, traditional Windsor chairs and we mainly make chairs for the trade. Fifteen per cent of our chairs are exported to America, Japan and Europe.

“We realised we need to invest in our future growth and after meeting the CWLEP Growth Hub at an event, it gave us the impetus we needed to start to lay the foundations to enable the business to expand.”

Jaymie also put Dave in touch with chartered accountants and business advisors Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O), which has offices in Coventry and Leamington.

Wayne Gutteridge, a director at HB&O, said he was working with Dave and his support team to put its constantly evolving business plan into action.

He said: “We have monthly meetings which is really important because it gives both parties the opportunity to go through the business plan to ensure we are providing advice on a wide range of matters ranging from Research and Design tax credits to cash flow.

“Sitting Firm Chairmakers is an innovative business which is a leader in its specialist field and the work we are doing will help them to attract new clients.”

Caption: From the left, Dave Green (Sitting Firm Chairmakers), Wayne Gutteridge (HB&O) and Jaymie Thakordas (CWLEP Growth Hub)


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